Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lizzy's surgery day

Lizzy was born with a small open sinus at the top her chest near the base of her neck.  Most people would never notice this small pin-size hole.  It was similar to the ear pit/tag on her left ear.  Around her first birthday, the sinus became red and irritated.  Eventually some yucky, smelly stuff came out of it called keratin.  When I informed her pediatrician, he referred us to a pediatric plastic surgeon, Dr. Marsh.  When we visited Dr. Marsh's office, he took one look at her chest and said it needed to be removed.  He was concerned of possible growth and infection, even systemic infection, especially because it had become inflamed before.  Additionally, he suggested removing the ear pit and clipping the frenulum (tissue between gums and upper lip).  I was a little taken back by the whole thing.  I even sought a second opinion.  Turns out, Dr. Marsh is the top guy for this.  He travels the country teaching, and provides his services to underprivileged throughout the world.  Lizzy was in good hands, so we scheduled right away.  
The original surgery time was scheduled for 1:30 p.m.  Argh!  That is quite possibly the worst time for a little baby, particularly when said baby hasn't been able to eat since the night before.  Fortunately we were able to schedule a bit sooner at 11:30 a.m. (arrive at 10:30).  We arrived right on time, even a bit early.  After the initial paperwork and some waiting, we were taken back to her room where we were notified we were actually supposed to arrive two hours early.  Dr. Marsh had already taken another patient back (who had also been told incorrect arrival times), so we were delayed.  That's when we started the laps.  Laps and laps and laps in the wagon around the halls lined with recovery rooms.  I bet we made 15 laps.  I could walk that place with my eyes closed.  Lizzy was a champ.  I mean, she was a-ma-zing.  Having not eaten since the night before and only a bottle of Pedialyte that morning, she could not have been any better.  She is such a good girl.  

She was given a dose of a sedative which was supposed to make her very tired.  It didn't.  Lizzy was kicking and jumping and having a great ol' time.  When she would try to stand, though, she would get a little tipsy.  Everyone would ask Lizzy in that baby voice," Lizzy, are you drunk yet?"  Apparently that's the effect this sedative has on people.  I suppose Lizzy would be a loud, crazy drunk.  Hopefully we don't find that out.  :)

After meeting with the anesthesiologist -- Dr. Hagen, who was so great -- and his intern -- Dr. Pin who was so sweet with Lizzy -- she was finally whisked away to surgery around 1:00.  
About an hour later, Dr. Marsh came to see us after the procedure.  He said it went perfectly and Lizzy did just fine.  A few minutes later the nurse came in to get me so I could be with Lizzy when she woke up from the anesthesia.  I was nervous for this part (I was nervous for the whole thing, but particularly the anesthesia).  Let's just say, waking up is hard to do.  By the time I got to the so-called wake-up room, I could hear Lizzy wailing.  She was very, very sad.  I was able to hold her and finally give her a bottle of Pedialyte.  She gulped that down in record time.  I then gave her a bottle of apple juice.  Gone!  Poor girl was starving.  It was nearly impossible to console her until another toddler woke up from his surgery and started screaming.  It was kind of dramatic.  When we were able to take her back to her room, she was finally able to have some milk, cheerios and crackers.  After 30 minutes or so, she was back to being herself.  A little woozy, but Lizzy.  
I am so thankful to have healthy children.  I felt a lot of stress surrounding this whole thing.  It literally kept me up at night.  Dave gave Lizzy a blessing the night before the surgery.  She was wiggly and squirmy, as to be expected, but I was finally able to feel peaceful at that point knowing that Lizzy was and continues to be in the care of our Heavenly Father.  I can't imagine the stress that parents with sick children go through day in and day out.  I can't imagine spending days and weeks in the hospital with an ailing child.  My heart goes out to those families and parents and children who do that.  I admire them tremendously.